Aortic antioxidant defence mechanisms: time-related changes in cholesterol-fed rabbits

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In 24 rabbits fed a hyperlipidic diet (0.5% cholesterol, 5% lard and 5% peanut oil) for 10 (group Al), 30 (group B1) and 60 days, (Group C1), compared to 24 control rabbits fed a standard diet for the same periods, antioxidant defence system (total superoxide dismutase, catalase, total thiol compounds selenium-dependent and selenium-independent glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione transferase) and lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances) in the aortic wall were tested. The percent of intima with grossly apparent atherosclerosis, as assessed by staining with the lipophilic dye Sudan IV, was negligible in group Al, but increased progressively in groups B1 (22.7-6.7%) and C1 (56.8-8.8%). Compared to the controls, a significant rise in superoxide dismutase activity was observed after 30 days of hyperlipidic diet, with a further marked increase at 60 days. Total thiol compounds and selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase activity rose progressively from 10 to 30 and 60 days in cholesterol-fed rabbits. On the contrary, catalase, glutathione reductase and glutathione transferase activities significantly decreased in all experimental groups. Selenium-independent glutathione peroxidase activity was not detectable. Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances increased about 3 times in hyperlipidemic rabbits. In conclusion, the changes in aortic antioxidant defence mechanisms and lipid peroxidation precede the massive vascular lipid infiltration in cholesterol-fed rabbits; some antioxidant mechanisms are stressed (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, total thiol compounds), whereas others are depressed (catalase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione transferase), thus potentially reducing or increasing vascular susceptibility to oxidative injury. © 1990.




Del Boccio, G., Lapenna, D., Porreca, E., Pennelli, A., Savini, F., Feliciani, P., … Cuccurullo, F. (1990). Aortic antioxidant defence mechanisms: time-related changes in cholesterol-fed rabbits. Atherosclerosis, 81(2), 127–135.

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